My mother’s side of the family is large, with multiple cousins, aunts, uncles, second cousins, siblings, etc., and they all like to get together every few years or so, en masse, in Ocean Isle, NC. As a consequence, many of my childhood beach memories center around Ocean Isle, a rare strip of beach front property that isn’t taken over by condos, hotel chains, and kitsch stores. Ocean Isle has rental properties and two hotels – that’s it – and the end of the island is a gated community. There’s no shortage of sand for your sunning and swimming desires, and you can easily grab beach gear at Surf Unlimited or any of the revolving-named stores near the bridge. It’s easy to rent a bike and tool around the island that way, or you can easily stroll from where you’ve decided to stay (cheaper rentals are on the inlet/intercoastal waterway) to the “town” area, which has a couple of bars and restaurants (Sharkey’s = no, the Giggling Mackerel = maybe), an ice cream parlor, and a putt-putt course. There used to be a water park, but if you’re looking for that sort of beach-shabby-chic, check out the arcade and boardwalk area. Grab an ice cream cone at the Ocean Isle Creamery, then take a walk on the quiet beach. A leisurely walk to the Shalotte Sound offers a great opportunity to watch crabs scuttle about the muddy sand, but if you get too bored, you can always take a plane ride over the area – it’s cheap, it’s scary, but it’s something one can do. Ocean Isle is calm and sedate, and it’s one of the quietest beaches at night. If you’re looking to party, head south to Myrtle or Sunset, but if you’re looking for relaxation, not much beats Ocean Isle.
Filed under: North America | Tagged: arcade, bar, beach, bike, boardwalk, crabs, Giggling Mackerel, ice cream, intercoastal waterway, NC, North Carolina, Ocean Isle, Ocean Isle Creamery, pub, putt-putt, sand, Shalotte Sound, Sharkey's, sun, Surf Unlimited, swim, walk | Leave a Comment »